Slovak politicians reach EU bailout-fund deal

Deal reached to approve changes to EU bailout fund later this week, a day after rejection had brought down government.



    Slovakia's main political parties have reached a deal to approve changes to an EU bailout fund later this week, effectively ending a crisis that had threatened the currency's main safety net.

    Robert Fico, head of the Smer-Social Democracy, the main opposition party, said on Wednesday that Slovakia will ratify the bloc's rescue fund without any problems.

    "I believe it will happen on Friday this week at the latest," said Fico.

    Fico said that in exchange for his party's votes, three outgoing government party leaders had agreed to hold early general elections on March 10.

    The approval for boosting the European Financial Stability Facility hit an obstacle a day earlier when a junior party in Prime Minister Iveta Radicova's government blocked its passage in a confidence vote that also toppled the cabinet.

    With the government now defunct, and with the promise of early elections, Fico said his party will vote in favour of the bailout fund, which all 16 other members of the eurozone have already supported.

    Eurozone leaders had agreed in July to increase the size and powers of the bailout fund.

    Germany and France, the leading powers in the bloc, have promised to propose a comprehensive strategy to fight the debt crisis at an EU summit on October 23.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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